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  (Source: Wired's Threat Level)
Firefox extension Linked Users to Same Product at The Pirate Bay

Internet pirates were in for a brief surprise Wednesday: art students from the Netherlands launched “Pirates of the Amazon,” a Firefox extension that linked product pages to their equivalent listing at The Pirate Bay. The following day, however, the website hosting the project took it offline after it received threats from lawyers.

The add-on’s authors are thus far anonymous, identifying themselves only as students of a Media Design M.A. course at a Netherlands-based university. Their website currently describes the project as a “practical experiment on interface design, information access and currently debated issues in media culture.”

“We were surprised by the attentions and the strong reactions this project received,” reads the site. “Ultimately, the value of the project lies in these reactions.”

A description of the add-on before it was taken down said its authors wanted it to be a “counterpart to the current models of media distribution,” and to “redistribute the wealth.”

Indeed, within a day of the add-on’s launch, its authors received a takedown request from’s legal department.

WHOIS records and what appears to be an posting indicate that the domain is held by artist Timo Klok, and that the add-on is to be publicly exhibited at an art festival at the end of next week. user “funchords” notes that the add-on retreives the “download 4 free” image from it’s home site, allowing administrators to monitor the extension’s spread through web server logs. It is unknown as to whether or not the add-on was designed with this in mind.

According to TorrentFreak, the add-on’s authors are not affiliated with The Pirate Bay – despite evidence that the add-on’s code transmits its queries to The Pirate Bay under the user-agent string “Pirates-of-the-Amazon”. The DSLreports posting describing this behavior posits that it was simply a “cute thing to do.” did not respond to repeated request for comment from Wired’s Threat Level.

While the add-on is no longer available from its original page, a working mirror is available from TorrentFreak.

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By masher2 on 12/5/2008 3:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "There are way more burger flippers than McDonalds in the US. And I know of some local franchisee companies that do routinely $39 background checks pre-hire"

You're conflating "background check" with "I can't get a job if I owe money". A background check includes a wide variety of items besides credit, and even a simple credit check will show things such as civil judgements.

In short, your notion that "people who owe money can't get a job, even flipping burgers" couldn't possibly be more wrong.

> " it has the same effect as a criminal conviction"

Quitting your job voluntarily "has the same effect" as being fired for exposing criminal fraud. But they're two totally different situations, now aren't they?

In any case, I reject your premise that even the effects are the same. If a University tosses you out for making suicide threats, you can always apply to another one. Unless you actually caused a police incident, it's not going to be on your record.

By TomCorelis on 12/5/2008 3:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
Besides, its not the fact that you're in debt that they're interested in with your credit report -- it's whether or not you're in an excessive amount of it and whether or not you are good for repaying them. Debt, in and of itself, is insignificant... because it's the USA. Everyone is in debt.

By Conficio on 12/5/2008 3:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
Besides, its not the fact that you're in debt that they're interested in with your credit report -- it's whether or not you're in an excessive amount of it and whether or not you are good for repaying them.

I'm glad you see the catch 22. If you are deep in debt and struggle to pay it back, you are then denied a job (or at least a good paying one assuming such checks are done more intensely for those) so you are for sure unable to ever pay back your debt.

So what are you going to do? You are denied by a faceless society to do the right thing and stand by your debt, work hard and pay it off. Tell me, what is your solution if you are in that pickle?

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